Indiana Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb signed a near-total abortion ban into law following protests from Democrats and abortion rights advocates.
Indiana on Friday became the first state to ban abortion since the overthrow of Roe vs. Wade despite strong opposition from Democrats and some Republicans. The bill – which imposes a total ban on abortion with exceptions for rape, incest or when the pregnant person’s life is in danger – passed by a vote of 62 to 38 in the State House. No Democrats voted in favor of the ban. Nine Republicans also opposed the bill, arguing that it was either too restrictive or not restrictive enough.
“Following the overthrow of deerI made it clear that I would be prepared to support legislation that would make progress in protecting life,” Holcomb said in a statement released just after signing the bill. ” In my opinion, [the bill] achieved that goal after passing through both houses of the Indiana General Assembly with a solid majority of support.”
“These actions followed long days of hearings filled with personal and sobering testimonies from citizens and elected officials on this moving and complex subject,” he added. “Ultimately, these voices shaped and informed the final content of the legislation and its carefully negotiated exceptions to address some of the unthinkable circumstances a woman or an unborn child might face.”
Holcomb wasted no time in signing the invoice. During the brief interval between the ban passing the legislature and its arrival on his desk, Democrats and abortion rights groups pleaded with the governor to issue a veto. Had Holcomb issued a veto, Republicans could have easily overridden a veto with simple majorities in both houses of the legislature.
The Indiana Democratic Party said the bill was “the worst form of government overreach, and that’s why Indiana Democrats are imploring Governor Eric Holcomb to veto this legislation.” Democrats slammed Holcomb and the Republicans for making it “against the law for Hoosiers to have a safe and legal abortion” when the bill was signed into law shortly thereafter.
Democratic state Rep. Cherrish Pryor, who is also chair of the board of directors of the Hoosier Women Forward group, said in a statement that the bill was signed “despite the opposition of a majority of Hoosiers”.
“[The] The bill is not about being ‘pro-life’, it’s about controlling women,” Pryor said. “It’s a dark day, but the fight is not over. Women, and all who care about preserving democracy, will remember this in November.”
Indiana’s American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said in a statement that the ban “set back the fundamental right of Hoosiers to control their own bodies by 50 years” after it passed the legislature.
“Governor Holcomb has now signed SB 1 to ban abortion in Indiana and force Hoosiers to carry pregnancies against their will,” the ACLU of Indiana added in a later statement. statement. “SB 1 is due to go into effect September 15. It’s cruel and unconscionable. We won’t stop fighting – the Hoosiers still have rights.”
Earlier this week, voters in Kansas — a state that also has a Republican-controlled legislature — circumvented the preferences of most GOP lawmakers by voting decisively against an amendment proposal seeking to remove the right to abortion of their state’s constitution.
Newsweek contacted Holcomb’s office for comment.